Running a small business is a challenging and time-consuming process—especially when you add motherhood to the mix.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
This week, we chat with mothers and entrepreneurs Melissa Larmier, owner of Flora Massage and Wellness Services, and Abria Allen, owner of Dreamcatcher Dallas, as they share their experiences with nurturing both their families and their businesses. Each at different stages of parenthood, they are able to bring a unique perspective on how to juggle motherhood and running a small business.
Whether you’re already a parent or are looking forward to being one in the future, you won’t want to miss out on this episode!
No Right Way to Start
When it comes to starting a business or a family, there is often the question of which should come first. However, there really is no one right or wrong answer—just what is right for you and your circumstances. Melissa and Abria are a testament to this fact.
Melissa began her business after she had her three sons, but that’s not where her career started. Before she ventured into entrepreneurship, she worked in patient psychiatric services. As she grew into motherhood, however, she came to realize that working in that environment didn’t allow her to be the mother and partner that she wanted to be. Because of this, she decided to shift towards entrepreneurship.
That being said, things did not happen overnight. Melissa claimed that for her, pacing was key. When her children were still little, she focused on training and slowly building the foundation of her business. Then, once they were settled in their school years, she was able to focus more of her time on building her business and even switched from sporadic hours to a full-time day schedule.
Melissa took the time she felt she needed to effectively create her business while also being the mother and partner she wanted to be. She explained that it’s crucial to have the internal capacity to understand when you are ready for more rather than to use external comparisons as a measure of where you should be.
Similarly, you need to understand what you are capable of and when you need extra support. Unlike Melissa, Abria welcomed her first son only 15 months after starting her business. Balancing a new business and a growing family quickly became a lot all at once. While at first she thought she could do everything and juggle it all, she came to the realization that she needed grace for herself and extra support in order to do her best in raising her boys.
Regardless of how you start, it is always important to consider what is best for you and your situation.
Schedule Things Your Way
Any owner will tell you that one of the benefits of running a thriving small business is the flexibility in your schedule. As your own boss, you’re able to make time for what’s important—which is especially helpful when you have kids at home.
As a parent, the demands on your time constantly shift and change, but the flexibility of controlling your time allows you to shift your schedule to fit those unique needs. For example, now that her sons are in their 20s, Melissa schedules her time so that her days start later so she is able to spend more time in the morning connecting with her partner.
Abria, however, has three boys all under the age of six. Because of this, she likes to start her days earlier so she can have time in the afternoon and evenings to connect with her children and do fun activities like jujitsu and baseball.
No matter the schedule, the control over your time also allows you to care for your loved ones and yourself when you are needed. Whether it’s for a medical crisis or a play performance, you’re able to be there.
Even without having a growing family at home, setting and maintaining boundaries with work can be a difficult task for a small business owner. However, when you’re a parent, it becomes more important than ever.
As someone who always says “yes” to things, Melissa shared that she has to continuously remind herself of her own boundaries and limitations. To help with this, she takes the time to thoroughly consider what is being asked by considering a range of questions such as “Can I do this?”, “Am I the only person who can do this?”, and “Is this my work to do?” before agreeing to anything.
Likewise, Melissa and Abria make a point to create a separation between themselves and their businesses when they are off the clock. In our current world of technology, it’s easy to feel like we should always be available simply because we can be. However, that's not the case. Both women are very intentional about which messages and calls they respond to (if any) when they’re at home with their families.
Abria explained this isn’t only to protect her family time but also to help show her sons that they don’t have to always be connected and can choose to be present in the moment. After all, if they see their parents constantly on the phone, that’s likely what they will end up doing in the future.
The Importance of Connection
Connection is one of the most important elements when it comes to the health of communities and families. Melissa shared that over the years, it has been believed that only quality matters when it comes to spending time with family, not quantity—meaning that it isn’t the amount of time but how you use it that matters.
However, this isn’t necessarily true. You can’t substitute daily communication with one big family vacation. Instead, it’s important to stay present and connected in your children’s lives. What this looks like will often shift and change as your little ones get older. For example—for Abria, this may be grabbing snacks and reading stories to her six-year-old. For Melissa, it could be just turning off the phone and being available to her older children.
Your connection doesn’t have to stop there. Even as a working mom, you can incorporate your child into parts of your career world as well. Do they enjoy organizing? Bring them to the office to help you with a project. Connection can take many forms, you just need to find what works best for you.
Be sure to listen to this whole episode (at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts) to hear more insight and advice from Melissa and Abira about how to juggle motherhood and running a small business. If you’d like to connect with Melissa, please visit her website or connect on Facebook or Instagram (@floramassageandwellness). If you’d like to connect with Abria, you can find her on Instagram (@dreamcatcher_dallas) or her website.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Learn more about Flora Massage and Wellness Services
- Learn more about Dreamcatcher Dallas
- Save $20 on Your First order from InstaCart of $35 or More
- Learn More About Treefrog’s Small Business Marketing Resources & Services
- Join the Priority Pursuit Facebook Community
- Follow or DM Treefrog Marketing on Instagram
- Follow or DM Kelly Rice on Instagram
- Follow or DM Victoria Rayburn on Instagram
The Priority Pursuit Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping small business owners define, maintain, and pursue both their personal and business priorities so they can build lives and businesses they love.
Did you enjoy this episode?
If so, pin it to save it for later! Follow us on Pinterest for more marketing, business, branding, and boundary-setting strategies!